For artists out there, this is a topic I’ve been thinking about and I’m interested to hear your opinions/experience. Are albums as a format dead/dying? In the social media/streaming age I’m starting to think it’s more important to release frequently (singles) to maximize “moments” - opportunities to promote and gain fans - rather than waiting a year or two to put out an EP or album which may fade just as quickly as a single. What frequency do you aim for? Do you put out content beyond just music?
We only release albums, it’s very common in rock/metal, because fans like to collect CDs and vinyl.
Yeah I think singles are the way to go until you have a large enough following to want to buy your music; and then EPs/Albums can be cool. If I wasn’t working full time I’d try to release a new song every… 2-4 weeks? As for now I do what I can manage, which is more like once every 2-4 months or so at the rate I’m going.
But yeah, growing a fanbase online requires fairly frequent, consistent content. Making some non-musical content can be a good way to fill out the dead air because it is often less time-consuming than making full-fledged songs. That’s what a lot of YouTube musicians do. You can do behind-the-scenes videos, commentary videos, how-to videos, etc. Whatever you think your fans might be into, besides just your music.
I think one of the benefits over the old system is that you can choose to do what’s right for your project and your promotional tactics. In some styles albums make perfect sense, in others frequent singles make sense.
And it’s worth remembering that the concept of singles and albums was borne out of the available technology and distribution methods available - go back before the recording industry and there wouldn’t have been may analogies for “single” and “album” - suites, music cycles, one-off pieces made to commission - the label we put on the container the music arrives in just depends on the standards of the day.
For my recent project, I put out two 6-track EPs; two parts of the same project, but split in two for thematic/ artistic reasons. I quite liked that because it meant I could do releases in August and then earlier this month, and I think 6 tracks, coming in at around 27 minutes on both parts, was a reasonable ask for an artist just starting out. If I’d released an album of 12 tracks, probably about half a dozen people out of hundreds would have actually heart tracks 11 & 12.
As a consumer I hate the singles. I skip them. I don’t need a whole album but at least 4 - 5 songs to add something to my playlists. I after wait for artists to combine their latest singles into eps before i am add them.